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Pre-shoot contracts? Advice please

Discussion in 'General Photography Discussion' started by Paul Vincent, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent New Member

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    I would interested in getting a few opinions as to what people do in terms of setting out their boundaries for image permission/usages for their work.

    I always used to think that if a client paid me to do a job, they would own the copyright which I’ve since found out isn’t strictly true. In fact it would seem that unless stipulated they remain the property of the photographer? Is that right?

    To put this into context, from time-to-time I do paid work for a client where the images get a massive amount of usage for marketing/promotional purposes on social media. Each time they post one of them, they very kindly put my insta handle so that's great. On the last job I did a couple of the images were shown in national newspapers. Each time they were used without creditation, consultation or payment.

    For the record I’m fine with what’s in the past. I’m on a learning curve generally with photography but I do want to get it right going forward.

    I was thinking of some sort of pre-shoot agreement that states that the images remain the property of the photographer and that pictures used in 3rd party publications (i.e. newspapers/magazines) would require permission and may attract additional fees?

    I’m not trying to be mercenary here, however I am trying to make part of my income from photography and want to make sure that I’m not being taken advantage of.

    It would surely make sense to put all your cards on the table prior to shooting so there can be no grey areas.

    Any advice on this would be gratefully received.
     
  2. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    Please state the country you exercise in. Then people might be able to reply according to the local laws and jurisprudence. (This is a very international forum!)
     
  3. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent New Member

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    Sure. I'm based in London, UK.
     
  4. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    But as a rule, the client doesn't own intellectual property, and the contract should specify the scope of the agreement. For instance, you charge for the shoot and PP, and then for the right to use your work in a specific context for a specific time. If publication in national newspapers was not inside the scope of the agreement, then you are entitled to claim compensation. This is about the same everywhere.
     
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  5. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent New Member

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    Yes that makes sense. Like I say I'm not going to get cross about what's happened in the past. I just want to make sure I'm clear going forward on all jobs. Do you have a written agreement for professional work then?
     
  6. JohnX

    JohnX Premium Member

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    UK. Tog owns the copyright, so you set fee's, usage limitations, etc.

    Suggest a search over here>Please login or register to view links. You'll find plenty of guidance.
     
  7. Mahasamatman

    Mahasamatman Premium Member

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    Unless you have a contract with the person for whom you took the shots that allows them to use them in this way, national press publication, or have transferred ownership to them, then I'm pretty sure they've exceeded their rights in terms of what they can do with your work. I'd get some legal advice if I were you.

    From personal experience there is a lot of ignorance out there about what can and can't be done with other people's copyrighted work so it would pay to be on a form footing yourself with respect to knowing your own rights. In this case I think it's big enough that you need to act retrospectively and defend your copyright or you may find it more difficult in future.
     
  8. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent New Member

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    Thanks Mahasamatman, I take your point. The issue is that I still get work from this client on a semi-regular basis and I want to keep it sweet for that reason. It was my fault not knowing my rights in the first place, so just want to install some sort of pre-shoot agreement from here on in.
     
  9. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    You should..... if there isn't any, AND you are an independent worker (as opposed to being on the payroll of your "client") then all rights are yours.
     
  10. Mahasamatman

    Mahasamatman Premium Member

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    Sounds like either way you will need to behave a bit of an awkward conversation with them then. There is a lot of ignorance, some feigned some real I suspect, over ownership of photographs so I suspect you will need to do some education as well as present a contract next time they want some work done :-(
     
  11. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent New Member

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    Yes could be a bit awkward but I've already sowed the seed by saying that I'll be sending in a pre-shoot agreement form to all my clients as of 2018. Next thing is what to put in it and how to word it!! Guidance welcome again obviously but I'll also follow up on some of the links I've been supplied and am thankful for in this thread.
     
  12. F2Bthere

    F2Bthere Premium Member

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    US based but should be mostly applicable for U.K.:



    More interview based, many in UK:



    Both highly recommended.

    ASMP is a great resource for US based photographers.
     

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